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Cleveland Indians for the Win

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So when I was in Vegas 5 months ago, I bet $20 with a sport book that the Cleveland Indians would win the world series. They are my husband's favorite team. It is somewhat of a tradition in our family that whoever goes to Vegas bets on the other's favorite football or baseball team to win the superbowl/world series. This was a bet of love since its been a long time since Cleveland have been any good at all, but mysteriously after the bet was made they started to do good, and continued to do well. If the season ends today they will go to the playoffs. You might be thinking to yourself, "What is the payoff if the Indians win the world series?" Well, since they've been historically not great, the odds were pretty good. So we win $500 if they win. Hubby said he'd take me on a vacation if we win. *scoff* I should hope. Go tribe!
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Yesterday I was home with my older daughter who had a bit of a bug. She ran a tiny fever all day, but by the end of the day her energy was back and she looked ready to go to school. We actually had a nice day; we just watched movies, did some dia de los muertos art projects, played catch with a balloon and did a bit of tidying around the house. I really tried to take care of her and just take it as a day to spend some quality time and give her full attention. I tried to ply her with foods she likes and made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup.

Baby Kali was awfully crabby when she got home, which made bedtime interesting; however, since I was able to get them both to bed at a decent time I was able to write in a nice quiet house.

In the book so far I am trying to make unexpected choices with regards to the plot and letting things flow. I am trying to tie it all together nicely and my themes keep pushing more and more heavily toward political intrigue and secrets, which I didn't expect. When I'm writing if I feel cliche expectations pushing me one way, I push back in another way to keep plot points somewhat unexpected.

Mine is a novel, but I'm not exactly sure where it sits genre-wise. Its a bit on the quirky side and I am trying to do something fun that still plays in a dark comedic way with some heavy themes. Lots of sex, swearing and looking at political and personal conflict from varying points of view.

I am about halfway through the manuscript and I am handwriting everything before I put it in the computer, so far it just feels more comfortable doing that. I only get about 5ish hours a week to work on it while the kids are sleeping or when I'm off and alone, so its slow going.

So this is a tiny nugget of synopses . . . not how much I've written so far, but so you get the vague idea.

The tentative title is The Sex Life of Bees. It is the story of a young researcher who is unsuccessfully trying to insulate her academic career at a large university from the secrets in her private life. Its getting harder and harder to hide that she is a sex addict who likes her addiction and feels no need to change. Her chauvinistic boss convinces her to present at a conference in Sydney, Australia, but while abroad she soon learns that she is not the only one with secrets.

Sometimes I think I think too much

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So this is my first real journal post in almost two years. Its hard to believe. The last two years have been such a roller coaster from raising my younger daughter from a wee babe to a raucous toddler to having my best friend move 2500 miles away to my father passing away a year and half ago from cancer . . . these bits and pieces are my life and I need to process all of them, so thankfully I found writing again.

I'm always thinking. I think about my family, my relationships and my career and if I let it sometimes the weight of these people's hopes, desires and needs all drives me a bit batty. This wonderful, curious, needful energy of the people that love me can transform into anxious, stressful energy if I let it. As a young girl and teenager I was anxious, the energy had nowhere to go and I was depressed, suicidal and unhappy. As a college student and young professional I was driven to do wonderful things in school and work, I made friends and that energy led to two degrees and many achievements. As an older professional and new wife my anxiety wrapped and unwrapped itself from my new relationship with my husband trying to figure it out and make it neat. Then I realized I couldn't use my librarian logic on the interactions between humans and that I had spent years making myself emotionally sick by trying to reason with emotion. I finally realized I had to just let it all go and let the relationship be and myself be. Suddenly I found that content person that I had only glimpses of before. I was happy just being adult me and raising my kids and getting my footing. I was fulfilled not because of my job as a librarian or my role as a mom, but because I found creative outlets that let my happiness loose and let me be content with myself as a person. Now as an adult rapidly hurtling toward my 40s, I am calm. I love to think and live inside my head. I like to turn thoughts loose in my brain. I trust my head and myself to work things out. As I write this book which is where so much of my energy is going when its not turned to husband or kids, I can work out plot points by just focusing on them and letting go. I love to just let go and be quiet and think when my schedule allows. Its less often than I would like. Here's a secret, I still dream of escaping the 9 to 5 so I can create ALL THE TIME.

Its true that sometimes my partner or my kids can turn my newfound zen back toward anxiety, which means I need to just take a deep breath and do the things that create my productive calm mind. The things that work for me seem to be: working out and regular physical activity, creating art through writing, sewing or painting and time alone to meditate and breathe.

Writing and letting go has been such a large part of my processing the events of the last two years. Whether that's in my book, on twitter or other places. I am relearning that I need writing like I need a deep breath sometimes. It helps me work out the knots in my head and turn them into a useful, not scary place. It turns that dark twisty corridor full of roots to trip on and spider webs that catch in my hair into a beautiful garden where nature runs like a perfectly orchestrated concert. I am thankful for all of the experiences that life has given me so far and I am excited for what the next adventure might be. I am thankful for my family and writing and even for this platform to journal whatever rambling thoughts are currently percolating above my neck.

Holidays

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Sorry I've been so terrible about posting.  Over the holidays I try to "unplug" as much as possible I shall update on all of it tomorrow. 

The two second version is:

I loved my week off, had a quiet christmas, got a bad cold on Christmas eve, a quieter new years,  miss my friends and family and feel sad for my friend whose mom died yesterday.  *sigh*  Hopefully after crazy work week I've had, I'll have time tomorrow.

New Car

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So we officially got the new car!  Its so cute and zippy; I love it!  Rusty drove me into work in it today.  I gotta relearn a manual before I drive it, but I'm totally in love with the cuteness.  He wanted to surprise me and put a big bow on it.  However, he got trapped on the interstate because there was this big huge dust storm and accident where a tractor trailer exploded on I-10.  It usually takes about an hour and a half to two hours to get to Phoenix and though he left at 1:00 pm yesterday, he didn't get home till 9:30 pm.  I'm just glad he's home and safe!

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Sock Love and Thanksgiving

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Finally broke down and put in an order to Sock Dreams. There was so much cuteness I could barely handle it and I ended up buying 6 pairs. Thanks for the tip ellettra </span> You always have such cute socks up! I am finally getting cute socks after spending too many years borrowing my husbands and stealing socks from my dad; I just got into socks last year. I got a bunch of otk (over the knee). Grey and Black stripes with lace at the top, bright bubblegums ones, white fishnet scalloped one, red ones with vertical black stripes, blue ones with sparrows and slouchable cream ones. The first order I put together was about $100 so I needed to pare back. Maybe more next year.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

I'm going over to a friends house and bringing olives and nuts for apps, sweet potatoes, dessert and bread. I'm so tired today, but at least my day is almost over.

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Nursing Story

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I am considering becoming a mentor for another nursing mom and wanted to post my own nursing story with Sadie for informational purposes. Sadie is a little over 19 months old and I've been nursed her on demand since birth and despite having to go back to work when she was six weeks old, we've had very few issues and I continue to enjoy our beautiful nursing relationship.

I always knew I wanted to nurse Sadie and I spent a lot of time on natural mothering and breastfeeding boards before I gave birth. I went into labor with Sadie one week after her due date and 10 hours of entirely natural labor later my 9 pound 3 oz baby was born at the Tucson Birth Center. The birth center was very pro-breastfeeding and all the other women in my "centering group" at the center chose to breastfeed; however, I was the only one going back to work so soon. As soon as I gave birth, I was able to start nursing her and I was able to take her home.

I did have a hard time at first as I didn't know what to expect. My mother had not nursed me and only nursed my brother for about a month and she used to continually complain about what a pain nursing was and that she was constantly wet and engorged and leaking (now i know its probably because she didn't feed on demand and was consequently always engorged and no one told her anything about it or how often the baby would be eating -- she also was a leaker and I just never was). I didn't know that the baby would eat quite so often and my toughest time was probably in those first few weeks when my nipples hurt, my husband had gone back to work and I was still healing from labor and was consequently all on my own. I also figured out that though Sadie was quite the hungry barracuda with an immediate great latch response, it needed a bit of tweaking so we were both comfortable. She could be rough but not take enough of the nipple into her mouth and consequently just slightly push the nipple onto the roof of her mouth. I had to teach her to take her time, open her mouth wide and to relax through the letdowns. I spent so much time the first couple of weeks just working on getting the latch right.

Then almost magically when Sadie hit 4 weeks all the stress around latch and feeding went away. I could just pop her easily on and off and if she was hungry and I finally felt comfortable leaving the house. I learned how easiest to nurse in public (layer/layer/layer) and the wonders of baby wearing and using slings and carriers. Then I had to go back to work and my whole nursing world changed again.

I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old and so had been planning this change for a while, but leaving her, pumping regularly and dealing with the stresses of work was harder than I imagined it would be. I started pumping at about 2 weeks to begin stockpiling milk and we introduced the bottle for the first time at 4 weeks and to our relief Sadie had no problems with nipple confusion at all. She swung with ease from bottle to tap and was a happy baby. The real problems began with supply at 6 weeks when I went back to work and was away from her for the first time and got my first period also. I got a supply dip during my period and a supply dip when I was away. I began taking More Milk Plus, Calcium and pumping religiously 4 times during the day at work and another 2 at home usually during the middle of the night and either after she went to bed or before she woke up. Breastfeeding was easy for me, but pumping was so hard. What had been easy and intuitive when it was just the two of us, suddenly was the relationship between me and a machine while I desperately tried to picture her little face and stay relaxed in my office conference room all the while stressing about hitting my daily milk quota and what I was missing while away from my desk. I had to contend also with people at my child's daycare that though wonderful childcare providers had very little understanding of the eating habits of nursed babies and would feed her too much and then act as if I were trying to underfeed my 95th percentile weight, healthy baby.

The stress of pumping continued from the time she was 6 weeks till she finally hit a year and we began to supplement the ebm with whole milk. It lessened a small amount when at around 8 months she begun to eat more solid foods and didn't need quite the amount of ebm during the day. However, I pumped between 3-6x a day and fed on-demand when we were together and used frequent nursing weekends to keep my supply high. Finally at a year I started to steadily drop pumping sessions and pumping length till by the time she was 15 months I was able to fully drop pumping and simply nurse on demand with her in the mornings, evening and weekends. We still nurse in that manner and co-sleep and she can get her closeness with mama and get milk too.

Books

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30. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire - This is the second book in the "Wicked Years" series, which starts with Wicked. I liked this book and although I didn't like it as much as the first, he has quite the talent for entirely transporting the reader into his world. Another interesting thing I noticed is that his main characters are often castoffs or people working on the edges of society and something about how they are so maligned makes them likeable but at the same time they have very unlikeable personalities. This book focused on the life of Liir the supposed son of Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West.
31. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore -- This book was hilarious and ridiculous and wonderfully weird all at the same time. It takes place in Pine Cove, CA; the same location as the Stupidest Angel. I loved this book; the perfect book to read when recovering from being sick. Imagine a quaint little town that has been invaded by an improbable sea monster all at the same time that the local psychiatrist has decided to take all her patients off of their anti-depressant meds. Makes for a very sticky situation.
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Man, am I tired today. I am just getting over my illness. I had a cold from hell which I talked about and that turned into bronchitis and that turned into pneumonia -- also may have had a dash of flu on top. Oooh joy. I got to spend the whole morning Thursday in Urgent Care at which point they told me I was really bad and needed to go to the hospital. Stayed home for the rest of the weekend and yesterday watching movies, reading books and magazines and just trying to get better. Upside my house is spectacularly clean, I'm almost done with the recycled sweater scarf I'm giving my mom for a Christmas present and I finished my Christopher Moore book :). I still have the cough a bit. I really think that is nearly the sickest I've ever been.

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